Approximately 15% of the U.S. population receives their water from private wells. This is a very small percentage but is likely to increase to 40% in states such as Vermont and Maine. If you are concerned about the quality of water from private wells, this guide will provide you with some well water facts.
Facts About Well Water
Here are some facts that you should know regarding well water.
Natural Sources Cause Contamination
Contamination in well water doesn’t come from humans but natural sources. There are some private well owners that may not know this because nearby pollution sources aren’t evident. However, contaminants such as arsenic can easily transpire underground at levels that are deemed dangerous.
Well Water Is Abrasive
Not only is well water abrasive, but it can also trickle from your plumbing. Take, for example, the water crisis in Flint. It is evident that corrosive water can trickle from plumbing, fixtures, and more. The bad part is that most well owners are not aware that their water can be abrasive, especially if their plumbing is older than 2014.
Well Checks Differ From Comprehensive Testing
Many people believe that if they have their private well checked, it will disclose issues. However, this is not the way well check testing works. Basic water screenings give “basic” results. This means that information about arsenic levels, chromium 6, mercury, lead, and VOCs are left out. However, you can retrieve this information if you test for chemicals individually or specifically. Many states also have testing requirements, but it varies. The majority of states, however, do not require comprehensive testing.
With that being said, well-owners are responsible for having their tests conducted.
Safe Levels Can Change
Private well owners should consider having their wells tested frequently since contamination concentrations can change. For instance, it is common for homeowners to assume that everything is fine since they had their water tested for arsenic several years ago. However, they’d be surprised to learn that the EPA has recently lowered the concentration of arsenic. This means those levels that were once considered “safe” are no longer safe.
Monitor Your Own Water Quality
It is up to you as a private well owner to monitor your own water quality. Unfortunately, the EPA is not responsible. However, it can sometimes be confusing to determine the specifics of the tests you must use. This can often produce confusing results. Some states have recommendations in place, but even still, this can be hard to understand.
It can be helpful for private well owners to take advantage of support teams to obtain guidance on labs to choose from in their area. This will inform them of the specific tests to run. The support teams can also help private well owners explain their findings.
It is also important to note that installing a well water filtration system can be beneficial and provide your family with an added layer of protection. Filtration systems will eliminate bacteria and other contaminants from your well water. Consuming well water can produce many adverse effects on your body and can even transmit diseases, including dysentery, cholera, and others.
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